In Letter # 27 from Letters of J R R Tolkien we find a physical description of a Hobbit that he invisioned:
I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of fairy rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and elvish; hair short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf).
Hobbits appeared in Middle Earth about the same time as Men. Men called them Halfling referring to their height range of between 2 and 4 feet, about one half that of a man. The Elves referred to the Hobbit as Periannath. Most hobbits preferred to live in tunnels or holes.
Hobbits adapted the Common Speech of Men. They spoke less and less with the Elves and became afraid of them.
Characteristics of the Hobbit include:
- peace loving
- hospitable delighting in parties and presents
- do not like or understand machines
- free from ambition and greed
- merry folk
- not lovers of learning unless genealogy
- do not hurry
- contented and moderate
- fond of simple jests
- fond of eating 6 meals a day
- slow to quarrel
- fond of smoking a pipe
- disapprove of adventurous or indiscreet behaviour
- nimble and deft in their movements
- shy of big folk
- slow to change
Questions to ponder for discussion:
Given what we know about the nature of Hobbits, was Boromir right in his concern about Frodo's role as the Ringbearer?
How did the Hobbits prove that they were worthy of being part of The Fellowship?